Shamokin PA

Pantry hopes food drive helps meet increased need

MOUNT CARMEL – The Mount Carmel Area Food Pantry is requesting public support for pre-holiday food collections that are being held in November to help the pantry fight hunger in the community.

The pantry, sponsored by the Mount Carmel Area Ministerium and located at 26 N. Market St., serves income-eligible residents of the Mount Carmel Area School District. The pantry had been serving about 100 families per month (an average of 50 families for each of its twice-monthly distributions), but pantry volunteers have lately noticed a sharp increase in community need. Seventy-four families showed up at the pantry, and were served, at the last food distribution on Thursday, Nov. 9. This single-day attendance may be a pantry record.

Non-perishable food of all kinds, such as, but not limited to, canned vegetables, canned soup, canned fruit, canned beans, rice, pasta and peanut butter are always needed.

Drop-off boxes for food donations are located at: Mount Carmel Area Public Library (supported by the library and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas), UNB Bank, BB&T Bank branches in Mount Carmel and Kulpmont, Members Choice Financial Credit Union and Mount Carmel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, including the nursing center, assisted living wing and outpatient rehabilitation center.

Additional food drives are also being held at the Mount Carmel Area Elementary School through the participation of faculty, staff and students’ families, and by several area churches. Some local businesses may also be planning employee-supported drives.

Throughout the year, the pantry receives food donations from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank as well as corporate benefactors including Wal-Mart Supercenter in Coal Township, Boyer’s Market in Mount Carmel, Weis Markets Distribution Center in Milton and CVS in Mount Carmel. Churches that are part of the ministerium are regular donors, and support is also provided by individuals and small businesses and organizations.